243 shoulder issue

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
I was out yesterday testing some reloads (adjusting seating depth between 2.615 which I have used for the last 100 rounds or so and the Sierra recommended OAL of 2.650) and all was going well until I couldn't close the bolt on three out of about 20 loaded rounds. I noticed marks on the bullet at the ogive suggesting the bullet is contacting the lands even the ones loaded to 2.615 as well as the 2.650. The best group I shot was three rounds loaded to 2.650 all through one hole pretty much.

When end I got home and measured the three rounds that didn't chamber they all had cnsistent OAL with the other rounds that would chamber so I then measured to the shoulder/base of the neck and found that the ones that didn't chamber were up to 20thou longer than recommended specs.

The problem now is I have about 100 cases all primed but a lot of them need to have the shoulders bumped back or completely fl sized. I only have a Lee fl sizing die and so can't use that to deprime the cases without sizing them too as the decapping/neck expander isn't long enough to knock the primers out without sizing the case too.

The brass is Hornady and 3x fired and hasn't been annealed. I was planning to anneal before the next round of sizing but I obviously can't do this now with the primers in place and I don't want to fl size to remove the primers, anneal and the fl size again as it seems like it'll work the brass unnecessarily.

So questions are,

How do I safely de prime the cases?

What may have been the cause for some cases to not be resized correctly but others from the same reloading session were as I don't think I did anything differently throughout the session?

Ammo details
Hornady brass 3x fired
IMR4350 43.5 grains
Remmington primers
Sierra 85 grain game kings
All sized with a Lee fl sizing die during the same session
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Simple. Take out the depriming spike on your resizing die. Then run them through the die to bump the shoulders back. Been there / done that.

when I reload, I do each round at a time - prime, load powder, seat bullet.
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
I don't think the spike comes out seperately on a Lee for unlike the RCBS ones. I will double check though as that seems like the best idea.
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Well after a fair bit of effort with a couple of pairs of pliers I managed to remove the decapping pin so I will resize them with primers in and anneal after this firing and hope that solves the issue.
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
On most fl dies the neck is oversized when the case is fully in the die for the correct dimensions restless when the expander ball is pulled out of the die. If you take the decapping rod out you will also lose the expander ball so could create excessive neck tension. You could however use a bushing FL size die without the bushing or possibly a body die to achieve what you want without disassembling the rounds. The other option is to pull them all and start again. I have deprimed live primers many times but just do so carefully whilst wearing eye protection
 

Edinburgh Rifles

Well-Known Member
.....so I then measured to the shoulder/base of the neck and found that the ones that didn't chamber were up to 20thou longer than recommended specs.

The problem now is I have about 100 cases all primed but a lot of them need to have the shoulders bumped back or completely fl sized.
you measured from case headstamp to neck/shoulder join?
is this your fired brass?
highly unusual that a case will be 20 thou longer than the chamber it came out of

What you may have is overly work hardened brass that when you pull the expander ball though is deforming the shoulder/neck as the brass is no longer "springy"

you can safely deprime live primer with a FL or Neck sizing die decapping pin.
At the very worst you may set one off and have to clean the carbon off the pin in the die.
The force and even the noise are minimal in a press scenario
Having de-capped a 100 straight using this to re-use someone else's homeloads with unknown primers I didnt set one off or have any issue
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Yes I used my Hornady comparator with the .280 cal insert which fits over the neck of a 243 round perfectly to measure the neck/shoulder junction. I think youre right about the springyness and the expander has elo gated the brass when it has been drawn out the case. This is why i didnt want to just bump the shoulders back as it may be too hardened and ill get inconsistent neck tension.

Ideally I want to push the primers out without altering the brass, anneal them all the fl size. I'm hoping to replace the 243 in another 12-18 no this with a 6.5 of some sort so I don't want to buy new brass or dies etc as what I have will probably last me up to the change in calibre.
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
If it's possible with your Lee die, try backing the decap rod right up so it just passes through the case neck, and give the expander a polish. I guess you will also lube lightly the inside of the case neck too.
Usually this works a treat correcting this sort of problem.

As mentioned, it is possible to decap live primers and done with care, it's unusual to have one go off.
Just decap gently ensuring that other live primers aren't close by.
A bit tedious and wasteful of primers, but they aren't too expensive and if the cases are restored, worth the effort.
Errors like this are a nuisance.
All the best.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
You didn't need to remove the pin. Just loosen the decapping rod and slide it up a bit and lock it down. Now it won't decap. Use powdered graphite to lube the inside of the necks: it won't foul powder or primer. I don't know how some of your cases ended up that way other than to say that Hornady had a run of really bad brass. Too brittle. Maybe you've got a few of those tossed in there.

And not that this is part of the problem, exactly, but your load is 1-2 grains over MAX (Sierra and Hodgdon data, respectively) with that bullet weight and powder. That will wear out your brass and your gun, if nothing else.~Muir
 

Sinistral

Well-Known Member
Your post (#6) says that you’ve snapped off the pin, so de-capping wouldn’t seem to be an option anymore. Re post (#4) I can’t fathom what the rigmarole was with the pliers as AF spanners fit the die collar & body of a Lee FLR die.

[FONT=&quot]As you’ve now pulled the bullets, you could try re-chambering the empty live primed cases one by one. As the resistance is reduced, I think the camming force of the bolt will push back the elongated shoulder/neck junction you’ve diagnosed (in post #1 and #8) without any press work[/FONT]
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
The charge is over max on those manufacturers but under max on the Lyman manual which is the first manual I had when I started loading for my 243.

I don't have any powdered graphite at the moment but I will get some for future use.

In in the end I de primed without having to size the cases, annealed them using the blow torch and brass held in a socket in the drill method. Not very scientific but the best I can manage. I've now resized them all and out of 124 cases 22 were still 10thou over SAAMI specs so I've ditched those and will reload the rest.

The 102 cases left should last me another 12 months of stalking/foxing with a bit of target work too and that should take me up to the rebarrel I want.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
The charge is over max on those manufacturers but under max on the Lyman manual which is the first manual I had when I started loading for my 243.

I don't have any powdered graphite at the moment but I will get some for future use.

In in the end I de primed without having to size the cases, annealed them using the blow torch and brass held in a socket in the drill method. Not very scientific but the best I can manage. I've now resized them all and out of 124 cases 22 were still 10thou over SAAMI specs so I've ditched those and will reload the rest.

The 102 cases left should last me another 12 months of stalking/foxing with a bit of target work too and that should take me up to the rebarrel I want.
Glad you got it fixed. Pencil lead works in lieu of powdered graphite. (Tedious but, hey!) And lastly, data changes with the powder. One of the manufacturers mentioned is the one who makes the powder, right? Both sources are current. Enjoy the hunting.~Muir
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Wth that in mind Muir about current data I'll load a few to the old specs and check for any pressure signs. I haven't seen any in thelastteo years but things do change so I'll double check.

Sinistral i didnt snap the pin but it had to be twisted out with pliers, by pin I mean the 10mmx1mm bit that passes through the flash hole. The neck expander did come out easily by undoing the nut on the top of the die.
 

Sinistral

Well-Known Member
Sinistral i didnt snap the pin but it had to be twisted out with pliers, by pin I mean the 10mmx1mm bit that passes through the flash hole. The neck expander did come out easily by undoing the nut on the top of the die.
Ah, understood. I was just going on your OP with the Lee die, which uses a one-piece decap rod & pin.:confused:
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
The Lee die I've got I didn't realise you could take the pin out but found out that you can. I knew it wasn't like my other RCBS dies where the expander is also removeable. Fingers crossed it all works out!
 

Sinistral

Well-Known Member
If it’s the standard one shown on the end of this link then that’s news to me too. The pin must sit in a socket so can be pulled out, as you’ve done. I shouldn’t think that’s intended, as the entire stem is supposed to be retracted to avoid de-priming the case. Another way of skinning the cat anyway so good show!


Ez X Exp 243cal Med - Lee Precision
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Yeah that's the one. It's a really tight fit but does come out. Made me remember that I have seen the pins for sale seperately so they must come out in case they get bent etc.
 

Top